In fact, I don't recall having any interests at all to research on the internet. I was interested in the internet for the internet's sake. So much so that I went into chat rooms and essentially harassed people by demanding that everyone in the room participate in trivia and typing contests. I was an extrovert game-lover with a single sibling who never indulged me. I thought the internet existed to finally give me a million brothers and sisters to play games with. (This dream wouldn't come true til 2005.)
In 1998 I got my first Yahoo! account (email@example.com) that I used to sign up for email newsletters and play Yahoo! games. I'm pretty sure the account is gone forever because I tried to get back into it several years later and was completely shut out. Boo.
In 1999 I got an account with gURL.com which was a website run by a clothing catalog. Because that is how the internet worked then. I never got into TeenBop magazines or trends and I only started caring about legitimate magazines like Seventeen when I was 17 and decided I wanted to be editor of Poise. But man was I interested in their internet equivalents with clever names like gURL.com. That site is still running, by the way, if you've got any questions like how to talk to a boy you like or how come you're always mad at your parents.
In 2000 we had to take a class in high school called Cyber.Comm where we learned how to do research on the internet. Alta Vista and Dog Pile were the leading search engines and you couldn't just type in your brain mush and get results--you had to write actual queries and boolean-y things with parameters and junctions and complicated word equations.
In 2002 I started my very first blog with Blogger (which hadn't yet been bought by Google). It didn't have comments (Web 2.0 and Social Media were still a ways off) and it featured such publishable sentiments as:
So now I have a blog. Isn't that cute? I'm not exactly sure why I got one. They sounded kind of fun. I keep a journal but thats kinda private. Well, not always. Sometimes I let certain people read it. But I can't really monitor this that way.
In 2005--the same year I got a Facebook account, thanks timeline--I realized there were other blogs out there written by very talented people. I started commenting and linking and making friends. I bought my own domain so I could teach myself html and CSS and design a site. I started posting nearly every day. I became a much better writer. And I met the Collective.
These days I use the internet for just about every single part of my life. Email is how I do my job. Social networking is how I connect with my friends. All my interests run into and out of the magical satellites in the sky. I carry in my pocket a device that gives me the internet at all times so I can stay connected with those I love, get information that I need, and learn things I hadn't heard of yet.
I've had it nearly my whole life, but it looks so much different now than it did then. It looks so much different today than it did two years ago. And I've loved nearly every revelation and generation it ages. With the obvious exception of Facebook updates and Google Reader changes. God bless the World Wide Web.